News & Politics

Charles Blow: 'Trump Is a Racist; We Can Put That Baby to Bed'

So what are we going to do about it?

Photo Credit: Screenshot / YouTube

Donald Trump was always a racist. Mountains of court documents and media evidence have proven it, yet Americans are still taking the time to debate not only whether Trump is racist, but whether racism exists at all. To do so, as Charles Blow writes in his Monday column, "is useless, particularly when you are surrounded by evidence of its existence."

As Blow notes, "The history of America is one in which white people used racism and white supremacy to develop a racial caste system that advantaged them and disadvantaged others." Knowing this, "It is not a stretch to say that Trump is racist. It’s not a stretch to say that he is a white supremacist. It’s not a stretch to say that Trump is a bigot."

These are facts, backed up by years of action, of declining to rent to black families or falsely accusing five black men of rape, of kicking off a presidential campaign with an announcement that Mexicans are rapists. 

What's particularly troubling, however, is that whenever anyone, a reporter, a lawmaker, even a voter, dares to call our president out for his hatred, "his response is never to ameliorate his rhetoric, but to double down on it." Blow continues: "I know of no point during his entire life where he has apologized for, repented of, or sought absolution for any of his racist actions or comments. Instead, he either denies, deflects or amps up the attack. Trump is a racist. We can put that baby to bed."

Even having this debate, Blow believes, "[renders] a simple concept impossibly complex, making the very meaning of 'racism' frustratingly murky." After all, racism doesn't have to wear a white hood or burn a cross in order for it to be harmful. In order for Americans to make any progress, "We have to face this thing, stare it down and fight it back.The simple acknowledgment that Trump is a racist is the easy part. The harder, more substantive part is this: What are we going to do about it?" 

Blow thinks we can start by admitting that Trump is not the first racist American president, but he can be the last, whether or not he serves out his term. In addition, voters must "rid the House and the Senate of as many of Trump’s defenders, apologists and accomplices as possible. Should the time come where impeachment is inevitable, there must be enough votes in the House and Senate to ensure it." 

We must also stop giving a pass not only to the lawmakers who defend Trump, but the fellow Americans who voted for them, and for him. We must remember, Blow writes, that "If you defend racism you are part of the racism. It doesn’t matter how much you say that you’re an egalitarian, how much you say that you are race blind, how much you say that you are only interested in people’s policies and not their racist polemics."

There is no difference between Trump and his loyal base. Blow leaves us with a harsh reminder, not to discourage us from action, but to remain clear-eyed about the work ahead of us:

There were enough Americans who were willing to accept Trump’s racism to elect him. There are enough people in Washington willing to accept Trump’s racism to defend him. Not only is Trump racist, the entire architecture of his support is suffused with that racism. Racism is a fundamental component of the Trump presidency.

Read the entire column

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Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.